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Northumberland Diary Discussion: 07 August 2010

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Started by: Margaret Young

Diary 156 - pondering on onions......

Go to latest contribution by Margaret Young, 18 August 2010, 11:20. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Margaret Young 11 August 2010, 01:47top / bottom of page
..pondering on onions....

I find Allium ID tricky and have been following with interest the Allium 2010 thread in the SRGC Forum.

Seeing the two onions in Diary 156 and in some confusion over the names, I decided to post a link to the Diary in that thread and see what the thoughts of the "Onion Set" might be..... see here to see what transpired:

... specifically posts 396 to 398.

Contribution from John Richards 17 August 2010, 20:27top / bottom of page

Thank you Margaret for helping to clarify this one. Regarding as I do Brian Mathew as close to God with respect to anything bulbous, I had assumed he was right in saying that Allium tauricola was correctly known as A. chlorurum, but even Homer nods I guess. If we can stay with the Classics for a second, perhaps I can share the benefit of an expensive and in this case not entirely wasted education by noting that when an epithet is ......-icola (meaning to inhabit), it always takes this form, whatever the ending of the genus, hence Allium tauricola, not A. tauricolum. I think the reason is that the word ....-icola is a noun in apposition, not an adjective, and is first declension feminine for some reason. As for the little blue onion, several of my books have this plant with pendent larger flowers as the Chinese

A. beesianum, the Himalayan A. sikkimense having smaller erect flowers. I myself couldn't possibly comment as I received it as A. caeruleum (which it certainly ain't!).

Contribution from Margaret Young 18 August 2010, 11:20top / bottom of page

I know the feeling, John... in this house Brian Mathew is regarded as being able to walk on water.

Thanks for your erudite explantion of the -icola versus -icolum mixup.

Now and then I am sharply reminded of my Latin mistress' obsession with ancient history, rather than more useful teaching of such details!


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